Recapping The Real Estate Of The Union
Check out the advice that Coldwell Banker’s® CEO shared for home buyers + sellers to help navigate the real estate market during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ryan Gorman, President and CEO of Coldwell Banker hosted a “Real Estate of the Union” live event via Microsoft Teams. If you missed it, the video and audio (take your pick!) recording have been posted below along with some key takeaways! The session covered everything home buyers and home sellers need to know about real estate during COVID-19. Key Takeaways
- Health and safety for everyone are number one.
- Talk to a local Coldwell Banker affiliated agent about your options.
- We’re ready to help you navigate the changing market.
- These are unprecedented times, we’re all in this together.
The CARES Act impacts you as a homeowner or potential homeowner in several ways:
- Mortgage forbearance and foreclosure protection: During this designated disaster period, which began on March 13, a borrower with a federally backed loan can request forbearance through the loan servicer. A federally backed loan means that it’s either guaranteed or insured by the Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veterans, Department of Agriculture or purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
- Protections for multi-family property owners: Owners of multi-family properties with federally backed loans have the same forbearance protections as single-family homeowners, but they must document financial hardship in order to request forbearance.
- Increased Tenant Protections: For the next 120 days (beginning March 27), the owners of any dwelling that participates in any housing program covered by various acts — including the low-income housing tax credit program, National Housing Act, Homeless Assistance Act, National Affordable Housing Act, rural housing voucher program and others — cannot begin any action to initiate eviction proceedings to re-take possession of a dwelling for nonpayment of rent, or charge any fees or penalties related to nonpayment of rent.
- Credit Protections: The bill allows more leeway for consumers that come to agreements with lenders on deferring, making partial payment, modifying a loan or forbearing delinquent amount so as not to tank the credit scores of millions of Americans finding themselves out of work due to the coronavirus.
The National Real Estate Market Today
The market has been impacted by COVID-19, but real estate transactions are still taking place. If you want to move now or in a few months a local real estate agent is your best source of information.
Mortgage rates are unprecedently low, good news for buyers. As Victor Ciardelli, president and CEO of Guaranteed Rate Affinity, told the audience at our April 7 Virtual Education Expo, “The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is at 3.5% compared to 3.65% last week. That is much lower than a year ago, when it averaged 4.28%, as well as the long-term average of 7.98%.”
The current market is also distinguished by contactless payment, in which mortgages are now being processed without any physical contact. That means consumers can take advantage of the lowest mortgage rates in history without fears of breaking social distancing rules. The industry is also rapidly embracing technology to process loans for purchase and refinancing, sign disclosures and execute closings.
Coldwell Banker Tech + Tools
Coldwell Banker has invested heavily in robust tools and technology to enable our offices and affiliated agents to remotely provide the same level of real estate services that our clients have come to know and expect. Our agents are still taking listings, conducting virtual open houses and online showings, and even closing properties from the comfort and safety of their own homes.
Over the past few weeks, Ryan has spoken with agents and brokers across the country. Below are some examples of the ingenious ways they are embracing technology to safely keep business moving.
- Cara Ameer, an agent with Coldwell Banker Vanguard in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, is working with a couple moving in from out of state. They aren’t able to travel to see properties right now but they need to move by the summer. So in addition to floor plans and interior tours, Cara has been creating drive-around videos so they can get a feel for neighborhoods.
- Jeff Shelton and Mike Hughes, of The Hughes Shelton Team with Coldwell Banker Realty in Tampa Bay, just closed on a sale of a $2 million home, which was sold in 21 days. They were able to utilize virtual tours and video to show the home to the prospective buyers, keeping safety a priority.
- Sherri Anne Green from Washington, D.C., has a client that was relocated to Florida and has to sell his condo in the city. The property is vacant but staged, so she can safely showcase the property through virtual open houses and virtual showings.
- Chris Perry, from the D.C. metro area, is currently working with multiple buyers virtually. He recently did multiple virtual walk-throughs of vacant properties for clients. He documented the showings on Instagram, showing off all his CDC safety measures, including a mask, gloves and wipes. He submitted a virtual offer last week.
One of the common themes Ryan hears when speaking to our agents is that they’re focused on having the latest information at their fingertips – making sure they understand the changing lending guidelines, mortgage rates and tax incentives that can help home buyers and sellers. Over the coming months and beyond, our agents remain committed to helping clients capitalize on the good news and adapt to the bad.